Imitation is one of the best type of flattery. All inventive folks, whether or not they be writers, artists, dancers, singers or actors, know that. Take into consideration the performers on a TV present like “The Voice,” who generally carry out the music of a choose they’re focusing on. Typically, it’s imitation that will get them on the staff of their goals. It’s the identical with poetry.
When you determine to put in writing a poem, it usually feels as if you’re on a quest for the proper phrase, the proper picture, or the proper thought. In some ways a poem is a treasure and the writing of a poem is a harmful treasure hunt. You by no means know what you may occur upon when you begin writing.
Let’s check out a type of poem referred to as the cento. Cento is a 16th-century Latin phrase, that means “patchwork.” A cento is crafted from “stolen” or discovered sources. Every line in a cento is taken from a supply and placing these strains collectively weaves them right into a patchwork of strains.
Many individuals consider the cento as a kind of “collage-poem.” A collage is made by combining photos, texts and textures of various mediums and sizes. Equally, a cento is created by patching collectively many discovered strains to create a poem.
After all, stealing is horrible and each artist should give credit score the place credit score is due, so on the backside of each cento is a observe the place the author lists the names of his or her supply texts within the order that they seem within the strains of the poem.
In your cento, you’ll be utilizing the At House part to create a poem of 5 to seven strains. Your strains may be phrases from articles, headlines, quotes and even photograph captions. To chop and paste your cento, observe the steps beneath.
Hunt, or skim by means of the paper for strains that talk to you. Perhaps your eye will decide on a sentence that makes use of fascinating language, like a vibrant verb or a compelling adjective; possibly you will see that a sentence that features a description of a picture you admire, or possibly you will see that a line that refers to one thing that resonates with you, like a point out of a season, a coloration or an emotion. Maintain looking in your treasured strains. It’s possible you’ll have already got a subject in thoughts, or your matter might come to you after getting your strains minimize out and you actually look at them.
Although this poem will probably be your personal creation, the strains will not be. Take out a bit of paper, or you need to use a laptop computer or cellphone and write every line down after which write down the writer of the article that line got here from. You have to this later.
Thieve (or Reduce)
If you’re working from the print newspaper, minimize out the strains you’ve gotten discovered and place them on a flat floor. Or copy them to a doc in your cellphone.
Take a look at your particular person strains and begin taking part in round with their order, as you stretch them out like snippets of yarn on a desk or flooring. Might one line soar off one other? In that case, put that pair to the facet. Maintain discovering connections. Think about these stolen strains to be threads you’re weaving collectively in that means, picture or emotion.
Upon getting laid out your strains, take into consideration tips on how to put them collectively. If you’re nonetheless deciding what your poem is about, maybe deal with an emotion, a spot or a picture. Your matter is as much as you. Let these borrowed phrases spark one thing inventive inside you.
Whenever you’re prepared, determine what line you need to begin with and what line you need to finish with. Laying these strains out as a body will get you motivated. Then, begin laying out your different strains. If one thing appears incorrect, transfer it round, or minimize it. It’s possible you’ll even need to search for one other line to substitute for it.
Paste your strains on paper or on a doc, and you’ve got your cento. Make certain to fastidiously write out, or kind your sources.
Congratulations. You’ve now written a cento with the beneficiant assist of others!
Sources for Leah Umansky’s cento, drawn from the Nov. eight situation of At House: At House cowl, Courtney Rubin, Anna Goldfarb, Tara Parker-Pope, Joseph Burns, Anna Goldfarb, Anna Goldfarb